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Zeta Male

"Accidents in North American Mountaineering 2007"

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Does anyone out there car to comment from experience on the wisdom of the December, 2006 party's apparent decision to either a) go back down the way they'd come up or b) hunker down and and wait out the storm while lacking the gear to do so properly, rather than c) proceed with the original plan and descend the south side to Timberline?

 

.....

 

I want to know what experienced climbers have to say about all this - what would you have done if thinking rationally at that point, faced with deteriorating weather, and possibly dealing with the realization that you'd profoundly f'ed up already?

 

Zeta Male;

If you have ever had an epic in whiteout conditions with little food/water and lacking adequate gear for warmth you would understand that rational thought is not always possible. It is easy for us to arm chair this thing from the comfort of our living rooms; yet another to put ourselves in the situation at the time; cold, tired, hungry, disoriented, scared, etc.... I think the lesson here is to learn what decisions/mistakes led the group to their predicament; many of which are obvious and have been discussed at length. If you can't guarantee "fast" don't go "lite".

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Not bringing Tauntauns. The deadly mistake that so many parties make...

 

Go Mariners!

 

tauntaun-sleepingbag.jpg

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tauntaun-sleepingbag.jpg

 

Fuckin LOL

holyshit, a picture so fahq'n phunny it summoned out the Commander from the depth of his bora-bora hole!

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... watching the weather intently that whole week on Stormsurf's Pacific and Jetstream forecasts along with Intellicast's Infrared Sat.

 

Thanks for the weather ref's. Not sure how to read the Jet Stream view in light of the multi-colored bar along the bottom but I guess I'll figure it out. This should be of even more use to me when I begin surfing.

 

Intellicast's Jetstream graphic is probably a little easier to read, but is only the current position of the Jetstream whereas the Stormsurf link is a rolling forecast of where they think it's headed. The main thing you're interested is where it sits relative to its highest windspeeds. It's generally in a roughly east-west orientation moving north or south up and down the west coast from Canada to California, but occasionally comes in at an angle or a north-south orientation coming at us from west to east. Any time it's sitting right over us it usually means the storms coming in off the Pacific are going to be coming our way.

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I have climeb for decades and therefor feel qualified to answer this question. The bottom line is if YOU don't know what you know or what you don't know, assume you don't know enough. If you do think you know all that you need to know then stay home until you are no longer over confident.

 

When it comes to weather, you don't know unless you are there. I I was once hammered so bad I truely though I was going to die soon. We dropped a few hundred feet to find campers in mild conditions. They called us pussies and finished packing for the summit and headed up the same time we headed down.

Since I didn't read about them, I assume they either turned around or didn't have any loved ones to report their absence.

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Hindsight is always 20/20.

When it comes to weather, you don't know unless you are there.

Bullshit, the combination of Pacific infrared satellite and Jetstream positioning were a complete no-brainer for staying off the mountain then - it was in no way a matter of either a 'hindsight' or a 'had to be there' sort of deal in any way whatsoever. It was more akin to playing Russian Roulette with five rounds chambered.

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Hindsight is always 20/20.

When it comes to weather, you don't know unless you are there.

Bullshit, the combination of Pacific infrared satellite and Jetstream positioning were a complete no-brainer for staying off the mountain then - it was in no way a matter of either a 'hindsight' or a 'had to be there' sort of deal in any way whatsoever. It was more akin to playing Russian Roulette with five rounds chambered.

 

You said you don't climb alpine.

 

Forecasts often paint a totally incomplete picture. May times you don't know what you're gonna get until you are actually there.

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You said you don't climb alpine.

 

Forecasts often paint a totally incomplete picture. May times you don't know what you're gonna get until you are actually there.

 

I don't, but I climb and windsurf in the Gorge, watch the weather closely and know exactly what it means when four significant storms are stacked up across the north pacific all the way to Japan and marching lockstep to a strong jetstream that is hunkered down over PDX - three very short windows between really bad conditions across the entire mountain. Again, that week was a obvious freight train of bad news barreling through the Gorge consisting of multiple storms of sufficient magnitude to make the possibility of opportunistic localized effects on the mountain basically nil - each of them was going to bring full-tilt conditions across the entire mountain.

 

Going in any of those windows left no room for error and little possibility of rescue.

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Forecasts often paint a totally incomplete picture. May times you don't know what you're gonna get until you are actually there.

 

Heinous forecast + Completely shut down weather = Should have gone to the bar instead. But yet they went for it anyway. Alas, with no taun taun either.

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Forecasts often paint a totally incomplete picture. May times you don't know what you're gonna get until you are actually there.

 

Heinous forecast + Completely shut down weather = Should have gone to the bar instead. But yet they went for it anyway. Alas, with no taun taun either.

 

My recollection is they tried to go fast and light and beat a weather system. Not like anyone on this forum has tried to do that. Or ignore a nasty avy forecast and try to run up something. Or...

 

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My recollection is they tried to go fast and light and beat a weather system. Not like anyone on this forum has tried to do that. Or ignore a nasty avy forecast and try to run up something. Or...

Agreed. Anyone who mountain climbs has made questionable judgment calls. I once bivied in a crevasse at 13,000' when the day that dawned clear and cold turned into a hurricane nightmare. We were lucky - the storm only lasted 12 hours -- had it lasted longer we would have been screwed.

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I'm not an alpine climber, but watch the weather closely in the winter so I can rock climb Beacon rock in the nearby Columbia River Gorge. I climbed both the day they arrived at the hut and the day they left it and had been watching the weather intently that whole week on Stormsurf's Pacific and Jetstream forecasts along with Intellicast's Infrared Sat.

 

Look at the initialization time of storm surfs pacific, currently it is using the 6z model run time but there is already a 12 and the 18z is coming shortly.

 

use this site and choose the 500mb vort, ht

 

in the adress where it says 12 you can change to 18 or 00 or 06 for the most up to date model

 

the other products a very usefull as well

 

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/npac/gfs/12/model_lu.shtml

 

 

oh and use this site for satellite stuff that intellicast is sort of choppy

 

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/loops/wxloop.cgi?ir_common_full+/24h/

 

scroll back to loops and you can choose other views and water vapor and so on

 

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Hindsight is always 20/20.

When it comes to weather, you don't know unless you are there.

Bullshit, the combination of Pacific infrared satellite and Jetstream positioning were a complete no-brainer for staying off the mountain then - it was in no way a matter of either a 'hindsight' or a 'had to be there' sort of deal in any way whatsoever. It was more akin to playing Russian Roulette with five rounds chambered.

Not meaning to raise your blood pressure again, I would have to say that you are exceptional in your ability to predict exactly what you are getting into by looking at a sattellite map. :lmao:

 

If everyone stayed home every time bad weather was predicted, Tvash and Ivan would never post a trip report. You just have to get out there to know for sure. It often results in a short time in a storm bracketted by long drives but the converse is possible. So to get back to the thread at hand, we cannot say what the exact conditions were when various decisions were made on that fateful Hood climb. It very well may have been one key mistake that caused such a bad outcome. One slip, one bad anchor,... , Change that and the rest might have turned out very differently. I have climbed up through some storms and been trashed by others.

Weather or not I go on partially depends on how I am feeling and who I am with.

There are no blanket answers on how to proceed with a particular weather prediction. Second guessing other climbers after the fact is pure speculation and says more about the speculator than about the speculatee(s).

imo

Edited by Bug

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Hindsight is always 20/20.

When it comes to weather, you don't know unless you are there.

Bullshit, the combination of Pacific infrared satellite and Jetstream positioning were a complete no-brainer for staying off the mountain then - it was in no way a matter of either a 'hindsight' or a 'had to be there' sort of deal in any way whatsoever. It was more akin to playing Russian Roulette with five rounds chambered.

Not meaning to raise your blood pressure again, I would have to say that you are exceptional in your ability to predict exactly what you are getting into by looking at a sattellite map. :lmao:

 

If everyone stayed home every time bad weather was predicted, Tvash and Ivan would never post a trip report. You just have to get out there to know for sure. It often results in a short time in a storm bracketted by long drives but the converse is possible. So to get back to the thread at hand, we cannot say what the exact conditions were when various decisions were made on that fateful Hood climb. There is a huge difference between snow and driving snow. There is a bigger difference between 30mph gusts and sustained 50mph winds. I have climbed up through some storms and been trashed by others.

Weather or not I go on partially depends on how I am feeling and who I am with.

There are no blanket answers on how to proceed with a particular weather prediction. Second guessing other climbers after the fact is pure speculation and says more about the speculator than about the speculatee(s).

imo

 

Well put.

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My recollection is they tried to go fast and light and beat a weather system. Not like anyone on this forum has tried to do that. Or ignore a nasty avy forecast and try to run up something. Or...

 

Again, if you consistently watch NPac weather and the jetstream, it's pretty easy to tell which storms are a sure bet and which ones are going to be hard to call - these four storms weren't hypothetical or 'maybe' in any way shape or form - they were a sure thing guided home by a very strong jetsream parked over us. Nothing about that situation constituted your normal 'we all take risks' situation. In rock climbing terms it was like onsight free soloing 5.11's - great if you're good and nothing bad happens.

 

You are right they tried to go in one of the windows, which was literally a 20+ something hour window - but the next storms were obviously barrelling in right on their heels. Light and fast? As I said, I don't do alpine so can't really speak to that, but I can't imagine three people being anything but more hassle than two, particularly when things start to go bad.

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Oh hey, look, another Hood deaths thread has people talking out their ass way outside their area of expertise :grlaf:

Edited by G-spotter

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Not meaning to raise your blood pressure again, I would have to say that you are exceptional in your ability to predict exactly what you are getting into by looking at a sattellite map. :lmao:

 

Well, if you've watched the weather in the Gorge as closely as I have over twenty years, you'd realize some storms and storm tracks relative to jetstream positioning are just a sure thing - not remotely a matter of chance or 'maybe' forecasts. And when the storms locked onto a powerful jetsream are as significant as those were you'd also know that conditions on the mountain were not going to be a matter of chance or any real variability - they're going to be successive freight trains barreling through. And we're not talking about potential storms - we're talking about storms that were largely fully-formed at birth off Japan that, based on the preceding storm tracks, were going to do nothing but gather energy and strengthen on their way across the NPac.

 

If you really had any specific knowledge of the weather of those particular days you wouldn't make as stupid a comment like "every time bad weather was predicted". You guys can keep cluelessly attempting to portray that week as simply just another storm, or just another risk, but the fact is - for anyone with half a clue - it was a guaranteed sequence of big storms squalling through. And if climbers would put a half the effort into weather that surfers, windsurfers, and hang and paraglider pilots do we'd have a lot fewer fatalities in the mountains. As it is, a lot of these incidents and the general attitudes you're intent on selling look like nothing more than bold ignorance and uneducated gambling. But hey, maybe that's simply part of the alpine culture.

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Oh hey, look, another Hood deaths thread has people talking out their ass way outside their area of expertise :grlaf:

bet you 5$ (us or canadian, yer call) that this one don't have the moxie to make it to 50+ pages like the last one!

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Oh hey, look, another Hood deaths thread has people talking out their ass way outside their area of expertise :grlaf:

bet you 5$ (us or canadian, yer call) that this one don't have the moxie to make it to 50+ pages like the last one!

 

That's because this time the game is over before the thread started: no survivors. Last time we all (I like to think) kept hoping to see good news and hear the survivor's tale.

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Oh hey, look, another Hood deaths thread has people talking out their ass way outside their area of expertise :grlaf:

bet you 5$ (us or canadian, yer call) that this one don't have the moxie to make it to 50+ pages like the last one!

 

That's because this time the game is over before the thread started: no survivors. Last time we all (I like to think) kept hoping to see good news and hear the survivor's tale.

what if this thread was like that video in the movie "the grudge" though? ya know, if you post in it, you'll die in 48 hours unless you get somebody else to post in it after you? the last sucker in gets the chop!

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Not bringing Tauntauns. The deadly mistake that so many parties make...

 

Go Mariners!

 

tauntaun-sleepingbag.jpg

 

I just wanted to point out that the zipper is a light saber ready to cut open the taun taun as necessary.

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